Friends of two men killed in a helicopter crash in Northland on Monday are traumatised after watching the chopper go down.
The two men died in the accident at Glenbervie Forest yesterday, while aerial spraying for timber harvesting company Rayonier.
Rayonier managing director Paul Nicholls says the crash has hit the tight-knit community hard.
"It's pretty gut-wrenching for everyone involved who have known these people to have witnessed or known about the accident today so that's where our focus is for the next couple of days."
He says the company will be seeking advice before putting another chopper in the air.
"The Robinson 44s are very common in New Zealand. We don't know what the cause of the accident is yet so we'll just wait and see what advice we're given."
The Robinson 44 was recently added to a safety watchlist after being involved in a number of fatal crashes.
Police are expecting to release more information on Tuesday about the incident.
Post-mortem examinations and formal identification procedures are being carried out on the bodies.